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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Drilon: Senate can't stop possible De Lima arrest

Published February 13, 2017 4:12pm 
By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ, GMA News

The Senate cannot do anything to stop the serving of an arrest warrant on Senator Leila de Lima—if and when that happens—as the offense faced by the neophyte senator is not covered by the immunity granted to members of Congress.
“That’s quite unfortunate but if that happens, we will see to it that the rule of law is followed,” Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon told reporters in an interview Monday.
Following the law only goes as far as ensuring that the arrest warrant is not served inside the Senate session hall “by tradition.” The plenary session is held from Monday to Wednesday at 3 p.m.
“Theoretically, it can be served, because it is an alleged offense where the penalty is beyond six years. But we will object to any service of the warrant in the session hall,” Drilon, a partymate of De Lima under the Liberal Party (LP), said.
Article VI, Section 11 of the 1987 Constitution states that “a senator or member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session.”
De Lima, however, is accused of violating Section 5 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, which imposes the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of P50,000 to P10 million.
Ethics complaint
Meanwhile, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said the Senate ethics panel targets to resolve the complaints against De Lima by the end of the month.
De Lima said she has filed her reply to the complaints filed against her, including the one filed by several House leaders.
“Tuloy yun. It’s a different story. The issue in the ethics committee is about the conduct of a senator,” Sotto, chairman of the ethics panel, said.
De Lima argued she should not be penalized for merely giving advice to her former bodyguard-driver Ronnie Dayan to skip the House inquiry on the Bilibid drug trade. —KBK, GMA News
- See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/599371/news/nation/drilon-senate-can-t-stop-possible-de-lima-arrest#sthash.Xm0xjPF4.dpuf

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